THE ORCHESTRA: A USER'S MANUAL

Introduction Orchestration Orchestration Resources Historical Andrew Hugill
  Philharmonia

DOUBLE BASS


Section: Strings
Transposing? Yes

Construction
Range
Bowing
Plucking
Left Hand
Mute/Harmonics
Chords
Extended
Player's Tips and Tricks

Links

 

Left Hand

Hand positions:
1. Half and 1st position
2. Octave position
3. Thumb position

NAME
DESCRIPTION
NOTATION
LISTEN/VIEW
COMMENTS
left hand only
using only the left hand
verbal instruction
left hand only  
left hand pizz
plucking with the left hand
pizz (left hand)
left hand pizz  
stopping the string vibrating
damps the sound
damped
stopping the string Can be done discreetly with a sliding motion
vibrato
pitch undulation created by motion of the wrist and finger
not normally notated, but if extra vibrato is required, indicate molto vib under note(s)
molto vib Vibrato is inherent to a player's technique and each player executes variable amounts depending upon interpretative intentions. It is possible to execute vibrato on open strings, but this is not normally done unless specifically requested.
non vibrato
no undulation in pitch
non vib
non vib Must be specified. Players will sometimes add tiny amounts of vibrato even to passages marked non vib depending on musical interpretation
glissando
a continuous slide in pitch

glissando

Consider rate of glide, start and end points
portamento
a slide from one pitch to another, usually stopping for moment either above or below the destination pitch

portamento

Essentially an expressive device which was very popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but has more recently fallen into disuse
harmonic glissando
a continuous slide while lightly touching string
  The pitches are distinct and can be controlled to a fair extent. Nevertheless, this is an effect that works best done quite quickly.
trill
a rapid alteration between two pitches either a tone (major trill) or a semitone (minor trill) apart

this shows a minor trill followed by a major trill, indicated by accidentals over the note. If these are not given, players will choose trill type based on musical context. The wavy lines indicating duration of trill are also optional.
trills In highly chromatic music, it is a good idea to specify the pitch onto which the trill is made in brackets after the note

fingered tremolo

a trill between two notes more than a tone apart.
  This is an unmeasured tremolo and lasts two beats. A measured tremolo is simply an alteration between the two notes in regular note values and is usually notated as such.